In memory of

Minnie

Fogg

(on side of John W. Fogg’s stone)

M.F. - footstone

foggm

Photo Credit:  Rosa G. Gonzales


1.  Photograph of Minnie Fogg

     A. Photo 1

Provenance:  Corpus Christi Public Libraries

     B. Photo 2

Provenance:  Corpus Christi Public Libraries 

2.  Biography

Among the leading citizens of the small town of Corpus Christi in the nineteenth century were John W. and Minnie Fogg.  According to his gravestone, John was born in Salem, New Jersey on 3 September 1825.  Salem is the county seat of Salem County in the far southwest corner of the state of New Jersey, and the burial of many members of the Fogg family can be found in local cemeteries.  For example, East View Cemetery in Salem contains the remains of more than a dozen family members including Joseph H. Fogg born 7 April 1817.  John ultimately came to south Texas and is found in the 1850 federal census records in Cameron County (p. 507).  He is only 25 years old at that time.  Shortly after that he married in Cameron County to “Minna Klinger” on 2 November 1853.  Those names of “Minnie” and “Minna” may indicate that her given name was actually “Wilhelmina”.  Minnie’s funeral notice reports that she is a native of Brunswick, Germany, born on 11 November 1836.  Brunswick is the usual English spelling for the city that is known in German as Braunschweig.  This city is in Lower Saxony (in north central Germany), north of the Harz Mountains at the farthest navigable point of the Oker River which connects to the North Sea by way of the Aller and Weser Rivers.  Brunswick was a member of the Hanseatic League and a noted political and cultural center (Goethe’s “Faust” played for the first time in Brunswick).  John and Minnie settled into Corpus Christi in the early days of its incorporation as a city, and John was in the transportation business.  According to an article in the Corpus Christi Weekly Gazette of 6 June 1874 (page 3) John had started the first transportation dray on the streets of Corpus Christi in the summer of 1854.  By the time of the article in 1874 he had a booming business and had introduced the first regular hearse.  His local livery stable provided vehicles and horses for public transportation in the town whether for a young man to take his girlfriend on a date or the local candidate to haul friendly voters to the polls.   However, he was also a developer of public transportation to the region.  The Nueces Valley of 22 April 1871 noted the opening of a new stage line from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande Valley which could leave on the 19th and return by the 21st bringing passengers who could then catch the mail boat out to meet with steamers heading for Galveston and New Orleans.  Mr. Fogg himself rode on the first stage of this line and occupied the box (Nueces Valley of 22 April 1871 page 3).  He was actively involved in development projects of the city and during the Civil War was a member of the local militia known as the Mounted Coast Guard.  He also opened a local bar and billiard room for the entertainment of the population of the city.  An article from the Nueces Valley in 1871 noted his refitted bar that included a large mirrow, marble slab, and woodwork in rosewood and black walnut (Nueces Valley of 1 July 1871 page 3).  The location of the livery, wagon sheds, and hay storage for the horses was on the east side of Mesquite Street (right about in the middle of the block) between William and Lawrence Streets.  Behind these business facilities was the family home which was located on the west side of Chaparral Street across from the Crescent Hotel run by Nic Constantine (see Murphy Givens’ articles on John Fogg website).  While John walked out the backdoor of the couple’s home in the morning to see to business, Minnie remained behind to work her locally famous garden.  Articles from the local paper recount the many flowers that graced the couple’s home.  John W. Fogg died on 30 October 1896, and Minnie followed to rest beside him in Old Bayview Cemetery on 9 August 1897.  In her last will Minnie (who had no surviving children) left the bulk of the couple’s estate to Kate F. Wright of Philadelphia (a niece of her late husband) and to her own niece, Mrs. Margaret H. Nichols of Galveston (Probate Records of Nueces County, see Volume H page 17 for will of 15 April 1897).  Minnie also remembered her faithful domestic on whom she had relied, especially in her later months.  She included in her will a bequest of $100 for her servant “Pinkie Jones”.  John and Minnie Fogg rest beside other notable early citizens of Corpus Christi who worked hard to bring a degree of comfort and beauty to what had been initially only a frontier trading post.

Research and transcription: Michael A. Howell

 

3.  Funeral notice

Provenance: Corpus Christi Public Libraries

4.  News Item

Mrs. J. W. Fogg has a flower bush growing in her garden, a species of the sunflower, 
which blooms in the morning, when the flower is white as snow, at 12 m., the color 
changes to pink and at 6 p.m., the flower is crimson.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller, October 28, 1883, p. 5, col. 3

Mrs. J. W. Fogg has a couple of pretty specimens of hyacinths which have 
been growing and thriving nicely in water, without a particle of earth, 
one she is keeping for a special purpose, but the other is promised to 
the Caller.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller, January 17, 1884, p. 5, Col 2

Research:  Msgr. Michael A. Howell
Transcription:  Geraldine D. McGloin

5. News Item

A Noble Work

In noticing improvements back on the bluff, the editor calls attention to the new fence inclosing the old cemetery grounds.  He says, “It was through the untiring efforts of Mrs. John Fogg, one of our noble women, that a fence was placed around the old city cemetery, and yet Mrs. Fogg has not a relative sleeping there.  Cannot some of the other ladies who have loved ones resting there take the lead and organize a cemetery association for the purpose of improving and beautifying the cemetery?” The suggestion met with hearty approval evidently for it was not long after that an association was formed which took charge and made some wonderful improvements, finally turning the cemetery back to the city, which is keeping it up, making of it one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Texas.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, June 25, 1933 page 5, col. 2 –A Noble Work.  The original article about Mrs. Fogg is quoted from an old edition of the Caller purported to be from June 23, 1893.  The commentary added is from Eli Merriman at the time of the publication of the reprint in “Men and Events of Forty Years Ago”. 

Research and transcription: Michael A. Howell

           








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